Our Power and RF products made from silicon carbide (SiC) outperform conventional silicon (Si) components. In many applications, fewer SiC components are required compared Si components when creating an electrical circuit with a similar output. To sustain a required current and voltage, Si components must be larger, meaning SiC components perform better with less materials required. Using less SiC components for a circuit and reducing the amount of materials in a SiC versus Si component means less materials are required to be disposed of at the end of their lives.
The responsibility for waste generation spans from cradle to grave, and Cree is dedicated to minimizing waste and disposing of waste safely and responsibly:
- From 2014 to 2015, Cree reduced its chemical waste generation from manufacturing by 277,000 pounds.
- Cree has actively worked to reduce the consumption of chemicals in its manufacturing processes and has been successful in reducing the use of one of its major raw materials by 70% in 2016.
In addition to reducing waste generation, Cree is dedicated to reusing or recycling materials whenever technically possible and economically reasonable. Cree values industrial ecology practices, and seeks opportunities for waste to be recycled or become a feedstock for use in other manufacturing processes. This not only lowers costs, but helps us and other manufactures to decrease virgin raw material consumption and reduce environmental impacts. We have implemented the following practices as part of our commitment to reuse and recycle materials:
- Cree began recycling one solvent stream with a reclaimer in 2011, which saves an average of 44,000 gallons of solvent per year.
- Cree recycles other materials in manufacturing and office sites, including metal, plastic, paper, cardboard, wood, cans and bottles.
- In August 2016, Cree’s headquarters began composting waste at the cafeteria. The composting program is expected to divert approximately 50,000 pounds of waste from the landfill per year.
- In 2016, Cree made its first waste to landfill reduction goals. Cree had a goal to reduce its waste to landfill rate at its North Carolina sites by 10% using 2016 as a baseline. We achieved that goal in 2018 and have a new goal to reduce our North Carolina sites' waste to landfill rate by another 10% by 2020, using 2018 as our baseline. Cree's Racine site succeeded in meeting its waste diversion goals, achieving 82% of waste diverted from the landfill in 2016 and 86% of waste diverted in 2017. Cree's Racine site achieved 90% of waste diverted in 2018.